Giovanni Venturini clinched his second Auto GP win today
The weather made everything it could to make things difficult for teams and drivers, with rain hitting the track one hour before the start and then stopping, even allowing a dryer line to appear on the track. Anyway with ten minutes to the end of Race 2 the conditions got worse again, with heavy rain and wind appearing again.
Venturini and Griffitz Durango coped well with such difficult conditions, despite being under pressure for the whole race. The only “calm” moment was the start, because the Safety Car was called in for three laps. Then, from the restart to nearly the end, Venturini had to keep an eye on the mirrors to keep at bay a charging Daniel de Jong: the Dutchman of MP Motorsport, who was P3 on the grid, passed Di Sabatino on the first lap and then started putting pressure on Venturini. The gap between the two never reached the 1” mark, and Daniel nearly managed an outside pass on lap 11. Anyway Venturini was very clever and focused, leaving no room for a real attack and leading Daniel to a mistake that with just two laps to go dropped him to seventh, ruining a very good race.
This handed Sergei Afanasiev 2nd place, after that the Russian boasted a very careful and clever drive, making the most of his rivals’ mistakes: he was starting from 8th place but thanks to the fights between Tambay and Onidi, de Jong and Venturini he was able to recover up to second. With this result he also won the biggest slice of the weekend prize money, bringing home 60.000 euros ahead of Tambay, who won 25.000, and Venturini (15.000).
The race that led Adrien Tambay to third place was much more eventful: the Frenchman from Campos Racing was starting from P7 but in the first laps his pace on the wet was much quicker than the guys in front. This allowed him to quickly overtake Ceccon and start a fight for P4 with Onidi: it was a close one, and in the end Adrian touched Fabio, puncturing the rival’s rear tyre and damaging his own front wing. Despite this he managed to continue his charge, passing Di Sabatino and closing quickly the gap to the front duo.
After a couple of laps behind de Jong, Tambay tried to pass him on the outside of Turn 1 on lap 12, but Daniel closed the door and the two made contact, with Tambay spinning as a consequence and handing third place to Afanasiev. Anyway, Adrien could continue, and de Jong’s final mistake brought him back on podium, crowning his first weekend with Campos Racing.
Good fourth place for Di Sabatino, who kept at bay until the end of the race an aggressive Kevin Korjus and a charging Kevin Ceccon, who is also the new Championship leader. The Italian driver of Ombra Racing posted the fastest lap of the race but he also had a spin that could have forced him into retirement. Anyway he was able to rejoin the race, and with those 4 points he managed to take the lead of the standings from absentee Filippi. Eight place, and one point, for Samuele Buttarelli, ahead of Fabio Onidi and Fabrizio Crestani. With Onidi suffering a puncture in the early part of the race, Lazarus opted for a risky strategy, mounting slick tyres to both drivers. Unluckily for them, the weather conditions worsened a lot in the final bit of the race.
Giovanni Venturini: “I was looking forward to another win! The Safety-Car helped me at the start, that’s sure, but at the restart I immediately realized that the car was very good for this damp conditions, and that I had a good chance. It wasn’t easy anyway, because I had a really fierce fight with de Jong for the whole race. He had better traction and stability in the quick corners, but despite this I could control him. I want to say thanks to Durango, we worked a lot together to achieve this”.
Sergei Afanasiev: “I’m happy that I managed to drive the Auto GP car on the wet. As everybody knows I missed Donington so for me it was the first time, and I actually enjoyed it also learning a lot. I wasn’t really super quick, but I just had to wait for the other to make mistakes, something that happened as I was expecting. It was a great weekend, but I’m still not looking at the standings too seriously. I will just try to do my best, race after race”.
Adrien Tambay: “The first part of the race was really good, I found the right line earlier than the others on the wet, so I could recover easily. Unfortunately I damaged my wing while fighting with Onidi, and there I lost some grip, but I was quick anyway. Catching de Jong was easy, but then he left me no room at all and we touched. I thought that it was over but I got on the clutch and managed to rejoin, and then Daniel’s mistake handed me the podium, maybe there’s a god up there who watches us racing! Losing the Donington round was bad, bud returning to the Series with two podium finishes is great!”.
Oschersleben, 31 July, Race 2
2 Sergei AFANASIEV Dams +1.183
3 Adrien TAMBAY Campos Racing +3.376
4 Pasquale DI SABATINO TP Formula +3.817
5 Kevin KORJUS Dams +5.913
6 Kevin CECCON Ombra Racing +6.099
7 Daniel De JONG MP Motorsport +11.165
8 Samuele BUTTARELLI TP Formula +30.388
9 Fabrizio CRESTANI Lazarus +1 lap
10 Fabio ONIDI Lazarus +1 lap
11 Adrian CAMPOS-JR Campos Racing +2 laps
12 Francesco DRACONE Ombra Racing +5 laps
13 Giuseppe CIPRIANI Griffitz Durango +7 laps
DNF Bruno MENDEZ Campos Racing
BACK TO VICTORY
Good news from Oschersleben Germany for the scuderia Griffitz Durango, at the end of the fifth round of the 2011 AutoGP championship, Giovanni Venturini claimed in fact, with great authority, the victory of today race. Giuseppe Cipriani finished on P13. This return to victory, after two rounds below the expectations, brought back the optimism within the team led by Ivone Pinton, who declared: “We came back to our own level at least. Giovanni showed all his talent, when he drives in this way victory is just a coinsequence. We are back even in the general classification being again in the position to fight for the championship. Very well indeed”. Next round in Valencia and great final at Mugello.
CECCON TAKES AUTO GP LEAD IN OSCHERSLEBEN
Kevin Ceccon did extactly what he aimed for in Oschersleben: with his sixth place in Race 2 he got 4 points that where enough to take the lead of the Auto GP championship.The Italian driver, that yesterday clinched an amazing 3rd place finish, had to overcome some odds to become the new leader, mainly because of some really tricky track conditions due to the bad weather. Ceccon, who was starting from sixth place in the reversed grid, used the initial laps behind the Safety-Car to warm his tyres, and then at the restart opted for a very cautious approach, with the championship in mind. So Kevin decided to settle for his position until the end of the race, and had even a little off with no consequences at all. To make clear that he was competitive, anyway he pushed a bit to post the fastest lap of the race, gaining an extra point and bringing his tally to 4 points, enough to leave Filippi two points adrift.
Kevin Ceccon: “My aim was getting the lead of the Series and I’m really happy that I did it. It wasn’t easy because the track was really damp and when at the end of the race it started raining again, making mistakes was really easy. That’s why this 4 points are really important for us, because they mean that from Valencia on, catching us will be up to the others. Luca is a friend, we spoke on the phone many times this weekend that he was in Budapest with GP2, but this doesn’t mean that I will let him through easily”.